[[ content warnings | blood, police, implied child abuse, murder ]
“I want you to know I’m proud of you. A little. Somewhat.”
Now this was saying something, considering that multiple buildings were on fire, Tamsin was covered in blood, and the sirens ripping through the air meant the police were around the corner (well, them and the firetrucks, but the firemen weren’t likely to shoot and/or arrest them).
Tamsin grinned and spat off to the side, hefting her sawed-off and aiming it squarely at his chest. “Are you really?” she asked, “Go on, what’ve I done to attain your oh-so-rarely-granted approval?”
Everett lifted his hands higher, eyes tracking the double barrel, which was disappointingly steady. “Well,” he drawled, deceptively calm, even as he wracked his brain for how to get out of this with his chest intact and his lifeline unbroken. “For one thing, I had no idea you’d be the murderous megalomaniac of our friend group to snap and bring the full force of the authorities on us. So good job on that.”
Tamsin sneered. “You’re not as prescient as you think,” she said, and flipped her blood-soaked hair so the heavy braid fell over her shoulder. “I managed to slip right under your radar; you were so focused on Derek.” Her face contorted in an ugly sneer. “You really had no idea of what I was capable of, did you?”
Everett shrugged. “I suspected,” he allowed. Something in the not-so-distance collapsed in on itself with a rumbling roar of flame, momentarily flattening all the night’s shadows. “But then, I suspected everyone. So, well done you. Where is Derek, by the way?”
Tamsin smiled. “Who’s blood do you think I’m drenched in?”
She cocked the shotgun, but that wasn’t why Everett’s heart dropped.
“I killed him, Ev,” she said, sliding one foot behind her, readjusting her stance and her grip. “You were all wrong—we didn’t need the knife for the sacrifice to be accepted. We needed the inscriptions on it. Any only knife would do.” She paused, drinking in the impact these words had on him. “I thought it would be harder, watching him die. But it wasn’t.”
“Bye bye, Ev. It’s been fun, but I don’t need you anymore. I can raise the Iron King all by myself now.”
Her finger curled around the trigger. He saw the gun recoil as if in slow motion, saw the shadows behind her flare out like they were made of tangible matter, saw her eyes blaze golden.
And then he felt the impact of the shells—an impact like the time Lila hit him with her car because she’d gotten the gas and break pedal confused, a burning like the time his mother taught him the stove was hot by flattening his four-year-old palm against it, and then he was on the ground, staring up at the sky, and the world went quiet.
He couldn’t breathe. Panic gripped him, and then pain, and then cold.
And then nothing.
Tamsin snorted derisively, lowered her gun, and walked over to prod Ev with the toe of her ballet flats. If all these months of research had taught her anything, it was to always make sure the adversary was dead.
It was hard to avoid death like the one she’d given him, though. Satisfied with herself, Tamsin idly admired the chaos she’d wrought and scratched out Ev’s name from the list she carried in her head. Four down, one to go.
It was just Aliyah left now, and she knew exactly where her roommate was hiding. She could see it, a streak of light leading her to where Aliya was no doubt desperately flipping through their year of notes for some way to stop Tamsin.
She wouldn’t find it.
Whistling, Tamsin made for the library.
prompt via witterprompts
I am...unlikely to make this a whole wip (anytime soon at least) so here’s my thoughts on this Dark Academia™ idea of mine:
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